Please find below a summary of my activities for the week
On Monday, I will return to Parliament and will be meeting with Labour’s Brexit team. Following this, I will be hosting the launch of National Careers Week in Parliament. National Careers Week (NCW) is a celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education. This is the second year in a row that I have hosted this event and I am always proud to support methods of empowering students with good quality careers guidance, something that has become a lot harder since this government cut the Connexions service since it took office in 2010.
After this, I will be attempting to ask a question in Housing, Communities and Local Government questions about Calvert Lane. Last summer, I, along with our fantastic Boothferry Labour candidate Amber Goodwin, spent time collecting signatures on a petition asking for more funding from central government to improve Calvert Lane. The Council has previously bid for some money under the Transformational Cities Development Fund but were unsuccessful in their attempt. I will be asking the Government to make these funds available so that we can carry out much needed improvements to this road.
Later in the afternoon, I will be speaking in a debate on cuts to School Funding. Schools are in dire need of more money. When Members of Parliament on both sides of the House are looking at the examples of schools asking teachers to contribute to the purchase of classroom supplies, or cancelled school trips, or ever increasing numbers of teaching assistants being laid off, or SEND needs being inadequately met, or music lessons being cancelled and not believing the government’s line that more money is being put into the system then it shows that something must be wrong. I will be arguing that investing money into our education system now will save us money further down the line and is a worthwhile investment.
On Tuesday, the Education Select Committee will be holding a session on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities with the Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dineage. This is the eighth oral evidence session of the Committee’s inquiry into special educational needs and disabilities and is focussed on the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014 which introduced Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). While there are many positive aspects to the act, I have significant concerns over the ability of children to access EHCPs as it usually requires parents to spend thousands of pounds in order to access these plans. I will be asking the Minister what role her department can play in making care more accessible to children with these plans.
Later in the day, I will be speaking in a debate on Investment in Regional Transport Infrastructure. Regional Transport Infrastructure is essential to make sure that we have a successful local economy and this is why I have continually championed projects such as bringing forward the introduction of new rolling stock for Hull Trains and completing the works to Castle Street since I have been elected. I will be focussing my contribution to the debate on Tuesday to advocate for better cycling facilities in Hull. This is vital because it has positive environmental benefits and makes it easier for people to get around the city. Hull’s Labour Council has done an awful lot of work to invest in cycling and are deserving of praise because of this but it is also vital that the Government steps up and plays its part through investing in the city to allow us to do more. I will be pushing for them to do just that.
On Wednesday, I will be meeting with several headteachers to discuss the use of isolation rooms in schools. This is part of my wider campaign to encourage guidance to be established to make sure that where discipline is exercised in schools, it is done in a fair and just manner. I will also be releasing a letter that I have co-signed with Dr Paul Williams to the Children’s Commissioner on this subject. I will spend the rest of my day working on correspondence from constituents and meeting with Parliamentary colleagues and others.
On Thursday, my meetings include an event with the Bank of England to discuss inflation, Dove House Hospice and Hull 4 Heroes.
On Friday, I will be unveiling a plaque to commemorate the author Elsa Gidlow who was born in Hull in 1896. She may well be the most influential lesbian author of the twentieth century (alongside Virginia Woolf and Radclyffe Hall), having published the first volume of lesbian poetry in North America and the first openly lesbian autobiography. She was at the heart of counterculture in the fifties and sixties and has an incredible range of connections to American authors and artists and is someone that is definitely worthy of commemoration. I will also be holding a drop in surgery at the Manor Farm pub on Willerby Road.